The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
June 6, 2002

Issue - 167

ISSN: 1538-3202

In this Issue

Mistakes People Make - Parents

Mistakes People Make - School Personnel

Parent's Right to Know: Teacher's Qualifications

No Child Left Behind Act - What Does It Mean to You?

NCLB: FAQs, Fact Sheets, Free Newsletter, More

Subscription & Contact Info




t Wrightslaw, we help you gain the information and skills you need to navigate the confusing world of special education.

Highlights: Mistakes people make - parents and school personnel; how parents can get info about teacher qualifications; more help from the No Child Left Behind Act; FAQs, fact sheets, free newsletter, Parent Tool Box.

Quote of the Week: "Too many children are segregated in schools without standards, shuffled from grade to grade . . . This is discrimination, pure and simple - the soft bigotry of low expectations." (To learn who said this, scroll down to article about No Child Left Behind Act)

The Special Ed Advocate newsletter is free. Please forward this issue or the subscription link to your friends and colleagues so they can learn about special education law and advocacy too. We appreciate your help!


Do you want to learn more about special education advocacy? Learn how to start a FETA Study Group:


Our Free Newsletter Flyer has grown to two pages. Please print and distribute the new 2 page Free Newsletters Flyer:


1. Mistakes People Make - Parents

Because the stakes are high, it is hard for parents of children with special educational needs to advocate calmly and objectively for the educational and related services their children need.

Don't shoot yourself in the foot! Read Mistakes People Make - Parents by parent attorney Bob Crabtree at:


2. Mistakes People Make - School Districts

Why are parents angry? Parents are angry when school personnel take actions that undermine trust, create a negative climate that destroys peace of mind, and deliver inadequate services to the child. Want to learn more?

Read Mistakes School Districts Make by attorney Bob Crabtree.


3. Do Parents Have a Right to Know a Teacher's Qualfications?

Question: "Do parents participating in an IEP meeting have the right to be informed as to the qualifications of the instructor designated to deliver the particular methodology or specifically designed instruction identified in the IEP?"

What do you think? Yes? No?

In our experience, parents who ask questions about a teacher's qualifications do not get answers to their questions. In many cases, they are dismissed with comments like:

"We would not have selected her if we did not think she was qualified."

"We cannot give you that information - it's confidential."

"Trust us."

Attorney Emerson Dickman wrote to the U. S. Department of Education and asked this question. In his letter, he wrote: "How can parents contribute as equal members of the 'IEP team' if they are denied the information necessary to evaluate the appropriateness of the decisions made by the team?"

Mr. Dickman's letter includes legal citations - and a good argument. Read the full text of Mr. Dickman's letter:


Read the response from U. S. Department of Education - the answers may surprise you!


4. No Child Left Behind Act - What Does the Law Mean to You?

You need to learn about the No Child Left Behind statute - this law includes parent rights that are not available under the IDEA. The heart of the No Child Left Behind Act is the promise to raise standards for all children and to help all children meet these standards.

"Too many children are segregated in schools without standards, shuffled from grade to grade . . . This is discrimination, pure and simple - the soft bigotry of low expectations."-- President George W. Bush

"As parents, you are your children's first and foremost teachers and their strongest advocates. You have a critical role to play—both in the way you raise your children and in the way you work for meaningful and accurate accountability in their schools."

In What the No Child Left Behind Act Means for You, you learn about this new law:


This article includes links to resources for parents, teachers, and school and community leaders.

5. No Child Left Behind Act: FAQs, Fact Sheets, Newsletter

For decades, parents have had few options when their children were trapped in failing schools. The No Child Left Behind Act aims to change the status quo.

"Every child can learn, and we mean it. And we plan to act on it."-- Rod Paige, U. S. Secretary of Education

Visit the new No Child Left Behind website to get Fact Sheets, order a Parent Tool Box, and subscribe to a free electronic newsletter:


Download Fact Sheets: Each fact sheet provides valuable information - share them with a friend.


Facts About Good Teachers: Nothing is more important to a child's success in school than finding well-prepared teachers. But millions of children do not have the benefit of a well-prepared teacher in their classrooms.

The Solution: http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/start/facts/teachers.html

Facts About Measuring Progress: For too long, America's education system has not been accountable for its results, and too many children have been locked in failing schools and left behind.

The Solution? http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/start/facts/testing.html

Facts About Reading Achievement: Did you know that less than 40% of 4th graders are proficient readers - and that more than half of these children do not have the reading skills they need for academic and lifelong success. What to do? Provide teachers with up-to-date information on how to use scientific-based research to teach reading skills to children - and actually use the methods and related material in the classroom.


FAQs: http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/next/faqs/index.html

No Child Left Behind Electronic Newsletter:


Parent's Tool Box includes brochures and information that you can receive from the U. S. Department of Education:


6. Subscription & Contact Info

The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy issues, cases, tactics and strategy, and Internet resources. Subscribers receive announcements and "alerts" about new cases, events, and special offers on Wrightslaw books. 

To subscribe. Read back issues of Special Ed Advocate.

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ISSN: 1538-3202
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